Pope Francis on bishop selection

"Meek and merciful": Does that sound like your bishop or the kind of bishop you hope might be appointed to your diocese? How about a bishop-candidate chosen because he is someone who lives a simple lifestyle, does not have the mindset of a prince and is not ambitious to a higher position?

Well, all those phrases were used by Pope Francis last week when he described the kind of men he is looking to appoint as bishops.

So score another point or two for Pope Francis. If he actually finds and appoints such bishops, the church will be the better for it. I don't know if he (or anyone) can discern these qualities in advance, but the fact that he named them and is looking for them in episcopal candidates, is indeed noteworthy.

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The occasion for these comments was a meeting of 108 papal representatives to nations and international organizations, along with 40 retired nuncios, who were making a two-day Year of Faith pilgrimage to the Vatican.


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